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Old 02-28-2013, 01:19 PM
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3602 3602 is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Quebec, Canada
Posts: 390

Well, there's the new F. The Z has been discontinued about a year after its initial release in NA. I guess I'm one of the early adopters, buying mine last February.

I get why people feel that the X is of higher quality than the Z. The textured steel frame just screams quality. But at the same time the X has headphone socket failures and HOLD switch failures, both being expensive to repair (although if you look at the headphone socket, it's connected to the main board by a piece of ribbon wire and not just soldered on, intended for easier maintenance).

What I really want to see from Sony's music department is a proprietary Walkman OS (such as the one found in the X) - NOT Android - held within a WM-D6C body (or if you like your portable DAPs small, a WM-DC2). But nowadays we're never going to see that level of construction anymore. The $600 or something AK100 is known for its unevenly mounted back panel (one of the corners juts out).

About the earphones though, I own the XBA-4 and I don't find them to be cheap-feeling. I also own the MDR-EX1000 and in fact, I prefer the lightness of the XBA-4 over the apparent quality of the EX1000 (not talking about the intrinsic sound quality here, though the XBA-4 really do perform MUCH better than the EX1000 for Vocaloid-type music). Made in Japan or not, at least the XBA-4 doesn't have the fading lettering/chipping paint problems of most of the EX1000's. And any brand-new EX1000 you buy today are going to have their L and R identifications simply printed on instead of embossed (sort of a bas-relief kind of thing going on) like on the earlier ones. In the end, overbuilding these things are just not worth it anymore. Same reason why almost no one makes double-shot keycaps anymore (and let the OCN folk jizz all over their Duckys and Decks and WASDs and Filcos and...).

Sony has made some quality-oriented electronics over the years, mostly Qualia (see how well that worked out) and to a lesser degree, the ES-series of some of their audio products. But I guess the money is just not good enough.

Also isn't the 25th or something Walkman Anniversary coming up?

Ganz Europa erobert
Portable: Sansa Clip+ RockBox'd > Sony MDR-NC500D
Home: Luxman D-90 > Luxman L-3 > psb Alpha B1
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